How do you currently feel about your church service?
I was asked to give a lesson to 11 and 12 year old girls about ‘overcoming the evils of pornography’ in a room without their parents. I remember having these conversations as a child. I saw the cycle unfolding and I didn’t want to be an agent. Asking to be released from that calling was the first step toward my transition. It was evident I was trusted to speak for the church on sexuality without being a licensed professional and without the parents knowing beforehand what I’d say or being present. There is no background check on me to work directly with children over this period of three years. I was frequently in their company and I think of how someone inclined to abuse could have such rampant access to children this way. I was appalled that these conversations were planned by the church curriculum. I was not interested in preaching abstinence.
I don't regret most of it. There were skills I developed through church service, like public speaking, learning a new language on my mission, and volunteering when things need to get done. I also developed relationships and interacted with people I would not likely have met otherwise.
I told the Bishop that I was going to "take my talents to South Beach." I served while we phased out because I love the members in the ward. We are completely out now and serving the community in other ways.
I regret being so uninformed while serving a mission. I don't regret the service in terms of my growth and development or for the relationships I built.
I was doing what I believed to be right, then I was doing it out of fear of the consequences for not doing it. I was doing what made sense at the time, even if it seems crazy now.
I will never deny that in the 10 years I was a Mormon, I experienced many positive, happy, and uplifting times. I met so many wonderful and kind people; I found a strong and selfless community. I learned many ways and means to be a good person, to develop and maintain strong and healthy family relationships. Much of what the Mormon church teaches and preaches is positive, wholesome, and good.
But there is much about it that troubles me, and even scares me. There are insidious problems in the church, in its gospel, and in its doctrine. The church can bring a lot of happiness to people's lives; it can also bring sadness and the complete opposite of the Christlike love they preach.
There are so many well-intentioned people in the church, but I had even become so blind to how my words and actions could hurt others. There's an inherent pride in believing you belong to the "one and only true church on the earth;" the belief that what you have is right and what everyone else has is wrong or inferior; that you have a duty and obligation to educate and save anyone who thinks differently than you. I'm sorry for anything I said or did to anyone that hurt them, or made them feel judged or less than.